Your enamel is crucial for protecting your teeth from damage and decay. Even though this hard outer layer of the teeth is tougher than bone, it is still vulnerable to erosion caused by certain foods and drinks, medical conditions, habits, and normal wear and tear that comes with age. Enamel cannot be rebuilt once it has eroded, but you can take certain measures to protect the health of your teeth and prevent enamel erosion from worsening.
There are a variety of factors than can contribute to enamel erosion. One of the main culprits is the acid found in many foods and drinks, particularly high-sugar items, fruit juice, soda, coffee, and tea. Acid erosion can also be caused by certain health conditions like acid reflux disease or GERD, eating disorders like bulimia, and alcohol abuse. Even habits like grinding your teeth or brushing too forcefully with a hard bristled toothbrush can damage your enamel and wear it down over time.
If you suspect that your enamel has begun to erode, you should definitely come see our team for a checkup. We will be able to assess the degree of damage to your enamel and work with you to develop a treatment plan. Depending on the level of erosion, you may be a good candidate for veneers.
Everyone should follow a proper oral hygiene routine to protect your enamel from damage. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day (ideally with fluoride toothpaste and a soft bristled brush), flossing once daily, and keeping up with your regular dental checkups. Limit your intake of acidic foods and beverages, and try to rinse your mouth with mouthwash or water afterwards if you do consume them. Do not brush your teeth for at least 30 minutes after eating or drinking acidic foods or drinks, because brushing right away can spread the acid around and damage your enamel.
If you have a condition that contributes to acid erosion such as bulimia or acid reflux, you should seek treatment with a physician to address these issues. Please contact our office to learn more about enamel erosion and schedule an appointment.